This week, a federal judge approved the release of $200 million in settlement payments to physicians, who filed a class-action lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group alleging that the insurer underpaid for out-of-network medical services, Modern Physician reports (Robeznieks, Modern Physician, 2/9).
Background on Lawsuit
The American Medical Association, the Missouri Medical Society and the New York State Medical Society brought a class-action lawsuit against UnitedHealth over allegations that the insurer's subsidiary Ingenix ran a flawed database that underpaid physicians for out-of-network care. The suit sought damages for physicians who claimed they received insufficient reimbursements because of the Ingenix database.
In January 2009, UnitedHealth agreed to terminate its Ingenix database. Later that year, U.S. District Judge Lawrence McKenna granted preliminary approval for a settlement that would require UnitedHealth Group to pay $350 million to resolve the dispute (iHealthBeat, 12/4/2009).
Details of the Settlement Distribution
McKenna this week also approved the distribution of $50 million from the settlement to patients and other health professionals.
The remainder of the settlement will cover various fees (Goedert, Health Data Management, 2/9).